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The Un-sweet Truth About Low-Cal Artificial Sweeteners

Information about Aspartame

We tend to think that those little yellow, pink and blue “sugar” packets are innocuous and healthier than the white ones because they have less calories, but truth be known, they are full of harmful toxins. Always use the natural sweetener choice and never the artificial one.

I bet you wouldn’t drink formaldehyde, would you? Then you certainly don’t want to drink Aspartame either. Here is the hidden truth about artificial sweeteners and their natural, much better for you, counterparts.

Aspartame, which is also known as ‘NutraSweet’ or Equal...is known as the most dangerous of all artificial sweeteners, yet unfortunately, you will still find it in most peoples’ refrigerators. It has been around since it was discovered in 1965 by chemist James M. Schlatter, an employee of G.D Searle & Company (which is now owned by Monsanto, the company that brought you Agent Orange). Schlatter was actually working on an anti-ulcer drug when he accidentally created Aspartame. Aspartame is currently found in over 6,000 products worldwide including soft drinks, instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, juices, laxatives, chewable vitamins supplements, milk drinks, pharmaceutical drugs, shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, teas, instant coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers and yogurt.

Aspartame has had a less than stellar lifespan. In 1981, just one day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, G. D Searle, led by then CEO Donald Rumsfeld, applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame as a food sweetener; this is where it becomes interesting.

Reagan's new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., appointed a 5-person scientific commission to review the board of inquiry's decision. When the board reached a 3-2 decision to ban aspartame, FDA director Hayes then added a sixth member to the committee. This resulted in a deadlock, so Hayes himself stepped in and personally broke the tie in aspartame's favor; soon after Hayes left the FDA under allegations of impropriety.

The issue at hand is: can we eat something and not absorb its energy? Can we outsmart our bodies and get all the taste without any of the side effects…of course not.

“Negative side effects of aspartame include: increased craving for sweets, blindness, decreased vision, pain in one or both eyes, bulging eyes, ringing and buzzing of the ears, epileptic seizures, migraines, dizziness, atypical facial pain, severe depression, irritability, aggression, anxiety, personality changes, insomnia, phobias, high blood pressure, thinning or loss of hair, gradual weight gain, extreme PMS, frequency of voiding and burning during urination, excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating, increased susceptibility to infection, irreversible brain damage, birth defects, (including mental retardation), peptic ulcers, hyperactivity in children, severe depression, aggressive behavior, suicidal tendencies and even death.”

“Aspartame may also trigger, mimic, or even cause the following illnesses: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr, Post-Polio Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Grave’s Disease, Meniere’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), EMS, Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Attention Deficit Disorder”

How could that be? It’s just a sweetener, isn’t it?

I thought it might be that innocent as well, boy was I wrong. Aspartame changes the ratio of amino acids in the blood, blocking or lowering the levels of serotonin, tyrosine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. That’s right… lowered levels of serotonin and even adrenaline. Anyone whom has ever taken anti-depressants knows that low levels of serotonin will cause depression and even suicidal tendencies.

So, how has Aspartame been able to prove its efficacy in tests?

It all depends on who you know…“Dr. Robert Walton surveyed the studies of aspartame in the peer-reviewed medical literature. He states that "of the 166 studies felt to have relevance for questions of human safety, 74 had Nutrasweet industry related funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred percent of the industry-funded research attested to aspartame's safety, whereas 92% of the independently funded research identified a problem."

Other reports of federal employees working for the companies responsible for the testing and distribution of aspartame are cited on all of the sites and books opposing the use of aspartame.

“The animals treated with aspartame showed extensive evidence of malignant cancers including lymphomas, leukemias, and tumors at multiple organ sites in both males and females. The authors speculate the increase in lymphomas and leukemias may be related to one of the metabolites in aspartame, namely methanol, which is metabolized in both rats and humans to formaldehyde. Both methanol and formaldehyde have shown links to lymphomas and leukemias in other long-term experiments by the same authors.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Yes, Aspartame turns into Formaldehyde once inside your body. The bottom line is that given the right endorsements and PR campaign, anything can be made to look healthy. But Aspartame is not healthy, it is poisoning you. I recommend ceasing all use immediately and replacing diet sodas, and even regular sodas, with a good old piece of fruit. A body nutritionally satisfied by a balanced meal of whole foods won’t have much craving for dessert and will be satisfied with a small amount. Try giving your body what it what it wants and was designed to use as energy- fruits. I promise you will see, feel and act differently.

What about other artificial sweeteners? Are any of them safe?

Health experts do not recommend using artificial sweeteners in any case. Instead choose a natural sugar from the list below, or even better, learn to adjust to the natural sweetness of raw foods themselves. Artificial and chemical sweeteners have no food value whatsoever, rather, they are full of toxins that harm your body as discussed above.

When I was a very young girl, cooking in the kitchen with my grandmother, many years ago, she taught me to use one cup of applesauce in lieu of a cup of white sugar in recipes like brownies, cakes and more. I loved brownies, and in order to satisfy my craving without raising the likelihood of getting cavities from sugar, grandma implemented this substitution early on. Now I’ve found that you can also substitute one cup of white sugar with a cup of mashed ripe bananas, half-cup of pureed dates, raisins or prunes. These healthy substitutions add fiber and create a delicious, moist texture.

Use these alternative sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners or white sugar:

To replace 1 cup of white sugar:
  • Stevia = 1 Teaspoon (approximately, read labels for powder, liquid or concentrate)
  • Honey = 1/2 cup
  • Agave Nectar = 3/4 cup
  • Maple Syrup =1/2 to 2/3 cup
  • Molasses = 1 1/3 cup
  • Barley Malt = 1 1/3 cups
  • Brown Rice Syrup = 1 1/4 cup

Written by Lindsey Crouch, organic personal chef and lifestyle coach.

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